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“Tessellate” – ∆ (alt-J)

∆ (pronounced “alt-J”) are a band creating music out of Cambridgeshire in the UK. Guitarist/bassist Gwil Sainsbury and guitarist/vocalist Joe Newman met at Leeds University in 2007 and began experimenting and recording on Garageband in their dorm rooms. The group soon completed its sound by adding fellow students Gus Unger-Hamilton on keyboards, and Thom Green on drums. In those early stages the band was known as Daljit Dhaliwal and then as Films, before finally and fittingly settling on ∆, which represents change in mathematical equations. The band released their debut album An Awesome Wave on May 28, 2012 in the UK, with a North American release date set for September 18 via Canvasback Music. The band, like most bands with a symbol for a name would, floats between genres, with themselves designating their sound as “folk-step” on their website. I’d never heard of “folk-step” before this, but now I can’t get enough of it.

I was seriously torn when trying to decide on one song off of An Awesome Wave, eventually anguishing myself to a standstill with “Tessellate”. The name comes from the word tessellation, the process of creating two-dimensional mosaics with no overlaps or gaps. I’m sure it’s no coincidence that triangles are one of the better shapes for tessellation. The music video is an interpretation of Raphael’s masterpiece “The School of Athens”, which can be seen on a T-shirt four seconds into the video. I highly recommend you join me in listening to the whole album on repeat on Soundcloud until September 18 when we can finally buy it! Enjoy.

Lyrics here.

More about ∆ here.

Find out more about Raphael’s “The School of Athens” here.

Bonus ∆.

I guess I lied about finally deciding on one!